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Bow Review: Bear Persist

This new flagship bow is loaded with technology.

Bow Review: Bear Persist

Bear’s 2024 Persist flagship hunting bow generates IBO arrow speeds advertised to reach 340 fps and offers a host of other bowhunter-friendly features, such as in-line mounting options for sights and rests and built-in tools such as a bubble level, wrist sling and bow hanger.

Bear Archery has a 90-year history of craftsmanship and tradition in the archery world, and for 2024 the company has taken those nine decades of experience and poured them into the all-new Persist. Bear’s best flagship hunting bow to date was designed to offer comfortable power, stealth and silence in a rig packed to the rafters with features and technologies useful to the bowhunter.

The Persist is powered by Bear’s popular EKO Dual Cam system with rotating module and adjustable draw stop. In-line mounting fixtures sit alongside standard mounting holes for both sights and rests, while the Swingarm cable-containment system is also center-mounted. A built-in utility loop, wrist sling, bubble level and rubber shelf pad all enhance the hunting experience, while a host of dampening accessories work to eliminate noise and vibration. Let’s dig in to see what is in store.

The Juice

Bear’s new Persist boasts a solid IBO speed, advertised to hit 340 fps. The engine behind the speed is Bear’s EKO Dual Cam system. Cams are machined from aluminum and ride on .25-inch axles and bearings for smooth operation and increased efficiency. Clear and distinct engraving marks on the base cams and rotating modules indicate positioning for the 26-30-inch draw-length range, in half-inch increments, as well as the draw-stop position that, along with the rotating draw stop, offers letoff options of 75, 80, 85 or 90 percent. An arrow on the oblong draw stop can be rotated to reach the desired letoff. The three-track cam system employs Headhunter 452X string and cables.

Straight and Narrow

With the introduction of Quality Archery Designs’ Integrate arrow rest in 2019, bow manufacturers have started designing their bows to take advantage of existing in-line accessories or introducing their own. These accessories eliminate side attachments, which in turn sheds excess weight, reduces the side-to-side footprint of the bow and brings everything closer to the riser’s centerline for better balance and reduced sideways torque during the shot cycle. Bear offers a Picatinny rail mount on the sight window’s front surface for sights designed with in-line mounting and a dovetail mount on the riser’s rear facing surface, just above the shelf, to accommodate Integrate arrow rests. The company takes it a step further with the Swingarm Roller Cable Management System that mounts directly into the back surface of the sight window. The Swingarm System has horizontal and vertical adjustment and employs an angled arm that rotates toward the centerline of the bow when the bow is drawn for enhanced vane clearance.

Quiet and Steady

Bear put laser-like focus on eliminating noise and vibration from the Persist via its Shock Management System (SMS). Leading the effort are In-Riser Dampeners, consisting of two weighted discs suspended on the ends of a rubber-like plug inserted into a circular cutout in the riser — one near each end of the riser. Further, Bear’s KillerWave Limb Dampeners are press-fit between the Persist’s Gordon Glass split limbs that reach a past-parallel position at full draw. Limbs that are parallel or past parallel have well-documented benefits in terms of reduced hand shock and felt vibration. Bear’s String Stop bowstring dampener is adjustable and mounts on the back surface of the riser.

Bowhunter Extras

Designed specifically for bowhunters, the Persist is home to a handful of features that cater directly to the hunting experience. It starts with the integrated Utility Loop made of heavy duty, coated rope that feeds out through the top pocket where it can be used to attach your pull-up rope, hang the bow on a hook, etc. Bear’s Silent Shelf pad covers the arrow shelf and surrounding areas to eliminate noise from arrow-to-riser contact. An integrated and adjustable wrist sling, riser-mounted bubble level and quick-disconnect attachment points for a shoulder sling round out the package.

Impressions

At the range, Bear’s Persist scored good marks for a smooth draw cycle that had a moderate buildup before dropping into the back wall. Another plus can be found in the bow’s tenacious hold on the bull’s-eye, as well as almost no vibration at the shot. A sharp jump in the handle and average noise levels follow the shot, while both grip versions prove effective in positioning the hand with average comfort. Depending on your grip style, the bow follows through slowly either back or forward.

The Specs

    • Manufacturer: Bear Archery, 800-694-9494; beararchery.com
    • Model: Persist
    • Riser: Forged; machined aluminum, reflex
    • Grip: Soft Touch Grizgrip (neutral wrist position) installed and Versagrip (low wrist position) included
    • Limbs: Wide-stance, split limbs, Gordon Glass
    • Draw Weights: 45-60 or 55-70 pounds
    • Draw Lengths: 26–30 inches in half-inch increments, rotating module
    • Cam System: EKO Dual Cam
    • Letoff: Adjustable to 75, 80, 85 or 90 percent; 85.71 percent as tested
    • String: Headhunter, 452X, 59.8125 inches
    • Cables (x2): Headhunter, 452X, 35.125 inches
    • Brace Height: 6.5 inches
    • Axle-to-Axle Length: 31 inches
    • Weight: 4.6 pounds (advertised); 5 pounds (as tested)
    • Finish: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country DNA, Mossy Oak Bottomland, Fred Bear Camo, Olive and Stone
    • Advertised IBO Speed: 340 fps
    • MSRP: $1,249.99
    • Comments: Packed with bowhunter-friendly features from top to bottom.
Bear Persist Draw Force Curve
Editor’s Note: All of our Bow Tests are conducted using the same standardized procedures and professionally calibrated testing equipment. Bows are tested with a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 65 pounds, unless otherwise noted.

Speed & Energy

    • Arrow Speed: 302 fps (375-grain arrow), 285 fps (425-grain arrow)
    • Kinetic Energy: 75.96 ft./lbs. (375-grain arrow), 76.67 ft./lbs. (425-grain arrow)
    • Dynamic Efficiency: 84.97% (375-grain arrow), 85.76% (425-grain arrow)
    • Average Shot Noise: 88.93 dBA (375-grain arrow), 88.0 dBA (425-grain arrow)



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